Notes: The 2013 Nissan Altima has multiple problem trends including the CVT transmission, and now that this model is out of warranty, it earns our "avoid like the plague" badge.

Owners complain about vibration and transmission failure related to the CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission), a whining noise from the power steering pump, and constant windshield problems that appear to be the result of poor design.

Be warned: the 2014 & 2015 Nissan Altima appears to share these same problems.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
20 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
20 / 0
Average Mileage:
14,912 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2013 Nissan Altima seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2013 Nissan Altima Owner Comments (Page 7 of 16)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #195

Jan 242015


  • 35,000 miles


Yellow light on dashboard shows that the passenger air bag is deactivated even though an adult passenger (approx 150 lbs) is seated in passenger seat. This has been occurring intermittently since car was new. Took car to dealer several times. I was told they couldn't find anything wrong. Then received recall notice for this problem. Took car to dealer and recall fix was supposedly performed, but problem still persists. NHTSA needs to take action on this widespread problem before someone gets killed.

- Grandview, WA, USA

problem #194

Nov 152013


  • miles
Air bag deployment. The passenger side air bag will not deploy if the person sitting in the passenger seat weighs below 130 pounds. According to Nissan the sensor will not activate if the person sitting in the passenger seat weighs below 130 pounds. Therefore if we were to get into an accident which requires airbag deployment, it will not deploy. My partner weighs about 110 pounds. According to Nissan the NHTSA mandated this and can not change the setting.

- Denver, CO, USA

problem #193

Aug 252014


  • 33,000 miles
Various times the passenger airbag off indicator will come on a stay on even if a passenger is stilling in the seat. It sometimes says on until the car is turned off and then restarted or can stay on for 30 minutes or more and then go off. Sometimes the red dash seatbelt light will come on even when just the driver in the car and the driver's seatbelt is fastened. I have brought the car to the dealer three times relating to this and they did not find anything wrong, the third time the mechanic said that it happens with his Altima also and he thinks it is just running a self-test. I don't agree and it worries my passengers when it come on in the middle of a trip. It worries me also that both indicators seem to be random on when they illuminate. Several times when I drop off a passenger and the car remains running and gets out of the car, the red seatbelt indicator comes on as if the passenger is still in the passenger seat without the seatbelt fastened.

- Palmdale, CA, USA

problem #192

Jan 222014


  • 100 miles


The contact owns a 2013 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that while driving at approximately 55 mph, the air bag warning light illuminated on the front passenger's side and deactivated. The failure recurred multiple times. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The technician diagnosed that the OCS software needed to be replaced and repaired under NHTSA campaign number: 14V138000 (air bags). The remedy failed to repair the failure. The manufacturer was not made aware of failure. The failure mileage was 100.

- Southlake, TX, USA

problem #191

Nov 292013


  • 48,342 miles
Making a left turn when I was almost finish my turn when I was struck by a motorcycle. The motorcycle struck the passenger rear door of my vehicle spinning my vehicle around. Caving in the door the airbags never deploy. My passenger lost his eye do to glass shatter in his face and eye!!!!

- Savannah, GA, USA

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problem #190

Nov 012014


  • 24,000 miles
I purchased a 2013 Nissan Altima S from carmax on 10/5/14. The car was suppose to be a birthday present to myself seeing as though I had not purchased a car in 12 years. I was very excited, but shortly after purchasing the Altima, I started to hear squealing coming from the brakes, and also roaring and rumbling which started in the front of the car, and proceeded to the center. I also complained about the car locking up and driving sluggish, and then releasing once the rumbling briefly stopped. I am also hearing an annoying whining sound coming from the right side of the vehicle. When I took the car back to carmax, they told me the roaring was coming from my windshield washer compartment that was loose, and that my brakes were fixed. Needless to say, I left and drove around the corner, and the squealing brakes and roaring came back. I took the car to a Nissan dealership in my area, and after telling them about the roaring and the whining, the service manager told me that he's quite familiar with the sound, and there is nothing wrong with the vehicle. He stated that the whining sound is coming from the power steering and the roaring is coming from the way I am driving the vehicle. How dare he! I only had the vehicle for a month before I took it to the Nissan dealership. He would not even try to look into the list of issues I requested to be fixed. The Nissan manager told me to go back to carmax or I would have to pay for the brakes to be fixed, and even charged me to rotate my tires. I left paying him for a service that I did not originally come in for. I went back to carmax and they finally fixed my brakes, but still could not find anything wrong that would cause the extremely annoying roaring and whining noises. This has been a nightmare, and I am thinking about taking legal action.

- Ellenwood, GA, USA

problem #189

Sep 072013


  • 2,887 miles


Since the day I bought the vehicle the passenger air bag was malfunctioning. They tried to repair it more than 3 times but was unsuccessful. And the case is being dragged on (the manufacturer is taking advantage since even the mileage is adding up all this time) without a proper solution and they(manufacturer) seem to disregard the fatal nature of a critical safety issue.

- Germantown, MD, USA

problem #188

Oct 252014


  • miles
As many others have previously reported, this 2013 Altima will not detect an adult passenger (140+ lbs) and will turn off the passenger airbag. The initial safety recall work was performed on the car (prior to our purchase of the vehicle), but the problem continues to happen. We have talked to several dealers who have not been able to do anything to fix the problem because it appears that Nissan doesn't know how to fix it. This huge safety concern makes the car unusable when we need to have more than one person in the car and we cannot get the airbag to work properly. NHTSA: Please force Nissan to do something about this issue!

- Warrensburg, MO, USA

problem #187

Sep 132014

Altima 4-cyl

  • miles
Cpsc: I1490345: 2013 Nissan Altima. Consumer stated the air bag light is on. The dealer informed the consumer, there was nothing they could do. The vehicle was recalled earlier in the year, for the same problem and a software fix was done. However, the air bag light illuminated again.

- Columbia, SC, USA

problem #186

Aug 102014


  • 3,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that while parked, the front passenger side air bag on light failed to illuminated when the seat was occupied. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was 3,000.

- Commerce, CO, USA

problem #185

Apr 242014

Altima 4-cyl

  • 11,000 miles


The contact owns a 2013 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that the air bag deactivated warning light illuminated intermittently while the seat was occupied. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and the technician was unable to find a failure. No repairs were made to the vehicle. The failure mileage was 11,000. Updated 01/20/15 also, the key fob failed. It did not recognize the key id. The consumer was unable to unlock the door. On several occasions, the vehicle would not start. Updated 02/231/5. updated 10/7/2015

- Sioux Falls, SD, USA

problem #184

Nov 292014


  • 12,500 miles
Had recall for passenger airbag light performed in June. Have had multiple occurrences of the pass airbag light turning on with an occupant in the passenger seat since the recall. The latest happened yesterday with my wife seated in the passenger seat. Its beginning to concern me that in the event of an accident the passenger airbag will not deploy. Judging by the complaints on this issue this is still a problem that Nissan hasn't been able to fix. NHTSA needs to reopen an investigation for this issue.

- Sterling Heights, MI, USA

problem #183

Oct 062014


  • 6,300 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that the air bag sensor on the front drivers side malfunctioned and failed to illuminate when the front passenger seat was occupied. The air bag sensor randomly illuminated. The vehicle was to be inspected and diagnosed by an authorized dealer. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 6,300.

- Commerce City, CO, USA

problem #182

Feb 142013


  • 400 miles
This is the 4th time I have had the dealer look at the inconsistent airbag light on the passenger side come on and come off. They have changed sensors and today told me that if I sit on the edge of one side of the seat the sensor light will come on and the airbag will not be engaged. Sometimes it lasts a minute (s) and this week it lasted 50 minutes with light on going on interstate 95. Coming home the light never came on. The Nissan Altima 2013 has many complaints and the dealership service person told me the above facts were normal and his does it also and he has a 2012. So...........I guess he does not mind driving around knowing that his life is in jeopardy with the light on - however, I do but feel the dealership has no clue on how to solve this even though many complaints have been lodged. I am waiting for a reply from NHTSA and then will jump over the dealership and go to the regional division of Nissan to speak to a supervisor. * please note: The tech I talked today did not indicate on the printout my total problem just that a sensor was replaced.

- Churchville, MD, USA

problem #181

May 012014


  • 10,480 miles
My passenger air bag light keeps lighting up stating that it is "off". I drive my 72 yr old mother around who weighs 152 lbs. My issue besides the fact if we get into an accident she is not protected but she has a heart defibulator. This needs to be fixed. No one is doing anything about this. Are they waiting to be just like GMC?

- Placida, FL, USA

problem #180

Aug 012014


  • 16,000 miles
Whenever my wife sits in the passenger seat up front the "air bag off" indicator lights up. She weighs approximately 105 pounds. I have contacted Nissan dealers, Nissan regional representative and Nissan usa in franklin, tn about the problem of not having air bag protection for my wife when I am driving and they all say the vehicle is performing as designed. I believe this is a safety hazard and Nissan has no fix for it. My complaints to them fall on deaf ears. The dealer has stated that they have seen this before in other Nissan vehicles and it is a lightweight person problem. It seems to me that just because my wife is small that does not eliminate her from the need for protection. What about other small people" I believe Nissan is avoiding a recall at the expense of people like us. Can the NHTSA do something about this problem" for your information, my complaint to Nissan is case number is [xxx]. information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Atkinson, NH, USA

problem #179

Dec 152013


  • 5,000 miles
I have a vehicle with an intermittent passenger airbag circuit problem. It will illustrate the passenger air bag off light anytime from startup to 20 miles later. It has happened multiple times even after the recall was performed. Nissan has now informed us to wait 30 seconds after starting before engaging the transmission or stop and turn the car off. I have never owned a car that required me to turn off the interstate to restart the car. Nissan is now refusing to repair the car.

- Monticello, IL, USA

problem #178

Sep 022014


  • miles
I have a 2013 Altima that was part of the airbag recall. After taking the car to the dealership for the recall I noticed that sometimes the airbag still shows to be off when my wife is on the passenger side. I called the dealer and was informed that the passenger needs to weigh 115 lbs. My wife borderlines that weight. However, if the law states that a passenger must weigh 80 lbs to ride in the front of a vehicle, the 115 weight set by Nissan gives me reason for concern. [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Winston Salem , NC, USA

problem #177

Aug 222014


  • 15,000 miles
Air bar passenger light that air bag is off goes on when passenger 110 pound adult sits in passenger side. Brought car in to dealer October 28th 2014 for software update, as of October 30th 2014 problem still exists dealer said it is passenger's biometrics that is the problem not the car, solution is unacceptable, have no confidence. Dealer is Chevy chase Nissan, bethesda md adviser [xxx] turner 240 395 4069, 240 395 4048. Read this problem occurs in other vehicles but is not identified for my VIN number. Lighting is checked off because warning light goes off. I have pictures taken yesterday of warning light going off while adult passenger is sitting in passenger sear. Please note that problem existed since August and was not picked up until I read the NHTSA website this week. This a constant recurring problem that exists every day. Problem must be addressed to prevent fatality in the event of an accident with no air bag being deployed for passenger.

- North Behesda , MD, USA

problem #176

Oct 012014


  • miles
My passenger air bag light indicating that the air bags are off keeps coming on. I went to have it fixed when the first recall came out but it is still coming on saying my air bags are off.

- Penns Grove, NJ, USA

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